In the latest feature for education site Game Career Guide, NCsoft Europe lead programmer Adam Martin follows up on the first part
of his series on breaking in as a networking programmer, with examples of simple online games
for programming, and a breakdown of the challenges of MMO coding.
In this excerpt, Martin details specifically how the problems in creating MMOs are an amalgamation of all other networked game challenges combined:
"If you're wondering how much of what you've just read here is actually relevant to MMOG development, the answer is "all of it." But for those interested specifically in making online games, there are a few more things you need to learn, and the kinds of challenges you'll face will be slightly different.
Developing MMOGs is all about systems. Code problems tend to come not in the form of "This doesn't work," but rather, "This works now, but it won't work in the context of the final game." Performance problems are not "It's too slow," but "The system fundamentally fails to work at all because one bit is very slightly too slow." Network programmers of MMOGs spend much of their design time trying to choose and refine architectures and much less of it worrying about specific features. They spend much more of their development time debugging architectural problems than they do mere functional ones. Fixing a functional bug may take hours or days, but fixing an architectural one can take weeks or months. "
You can now read the complete feature
, with more from Martin, including practical examples of relatively easy game types for network programming novices to tackle (no registration required, please feel free to link to this feature from external websites).